Hershey, PA is a small town located in Derry Township, just east of the state capital of Harrisburg.
Although it is now famous for its chocolate and of course the Hersheypark amusement park, the town has a rich and varied history that dates back to the early 1700s.
Early Settlement of Hershey, PA
In 1709, a group of Swiss and German immigrants arrived in the area and established a small settlement called Derry Church.
The town continued to grow over the next century, with the construction of a church, school, and several businesses.
Milton Hershey Arrives
In the late 1800s, an entrepreneur named Milton Hershey moved to the area and established the Hershey Chocolate Company.
Hershey had already achieved some success in the candy-making industry, having developed a popular caramel candy. But he saw an opportunity to create a new kind of chocolate, one that was affordable and accessible to everyone.
Hershey’s first factory was located in Lancaster, but he quickly outgrew the space and began looking for a new location. He found a site in Derry Township that offered access to transportation, a reliable water supply, and plenty of land for expansion.
Hershey began construction on his new factory in 1903, and by 1905 the first Hershey chocolate bars were rolling off the production line.
The town of Hershey grew up around the factory, with Hershey providing housing, schools, and other amenities for his workers and their families.
Over the next few decades, Hershey continued to expand his business, introducing new products like Hershey’s Kisses and building new factories around the world.
The town of Hershey also continued to grow, with new businesses, homes, and attractions like Hersheypark and the Hershey Theatre.
Hershey, PA Today
Today, Hershey is known as the “Sweetest Place on Earth,” and it continues to be a major tourist destination.
When the wind is right you can smell the chocolate or peanut butter cups being made at the Hershey or Reece’s factories!
Visitors can tour the Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction, sample chocolate at the Hershey’s Chocolate Tasting Experience, or take a ride on one of the roller coasters at Hersheypark.
The town also has a thriving arts scene, with the Hershey Theatre hosting performances by national touring companies and local theater groups.
Despite its fame as a chocolate town, Hershey has a rich and varied history that extends far beyond candy-making.
From its early days as a small settlement to its growth as a thriving industrial town, Hershey has always been a place of innovation, progress, and community spirit.
So why not plan your visit to Hershey, PA today. And when you bring your family, consider staying at Nomad Nest!
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